This tutorial is about capturing a beautiful real time render of your game art ready asset. This tutorial is a follow up tutorial of Create a Game Ready Fire Extinguisher with 3D Studio Max series.
In the previous tutorial, I showed you how to model and texture a low poly fire extinguisher. In this part, you will learn the working interface of the Marmoset Toolbag.
First of all, you have to export the fire extinguisher mesh
from 3d software (Maya/Max). I choose .FBX file format for exporting the mesh. You must check some essential points before exporting the mesh.
- Reset xForm or freeze transformation and center pivot point
- Unlock normals
- Separate objects according to the material id.
You can check the normals of the object in 3ds Max by applying Edit Normals modifier. It’s fine if the normals are blue. But if the normals are green, it means you need to reset the normals and the smoothing groups.
Open Marmoset Toolbag software. Go to File > Import Mesh and import the FBX mesh of the fire extinguisher in this program.
You can see the cylinder with its pivot point in the Marmoset viewport. Sometimes the imported mesh behaves abnormally, so be sure to import it again with the proper settings.
Once you import the mesh, you can see its name, properties and other file information in the scene box. The sky and the main camera appear automatically with every imported scene.
In the right corner, you can see the material box. You can create a new material by just clicking on the New option. However, there are few materials already in the library by default.
There are two main options in the library: Import and Export. You can either import your own materials or you can choose the desired material from the library.
Here is the basic idea of the Marmoset Toolbag tools.
- In the top left corner, you can see the Scene tab. There is a Sky option to adjust the environment and the background information. You can adjust the brightness and the light position of your scene.
- There are some skies in the Presets option and the relative tools like brightness and rotation.
- The sky browser has few good sky environments and you can select according to your light’s mood. In Marmoset Toolbag, Garage is the default sky.
- If you don’t want an image in the background, you can either choose a different mode or only color. Personally, I prefer the ambient sky.
In the Main Camera options, you will find lens related adjustments like field of view and depth of field. And there are some good post effects also so you can change the saturation, exposure, add vignette, bloom, grain and more.
- Select a new material and name it as fire extinguisher
- Select the mesh and apply the material onto it
- Add Normal Map by clicking on the checker box
- Add Gloss Map by clicking on the checker box
- Add Albedo Map by clicking on the checker box
- Add Specular Map by clicking on the checker box
These are the textures.
In the Normal Map option, you can invert the green channel by clicking on the Flip Y option. You may have to do this because if you are working in a different 3d application, you have to adjust either Y or green channel according to it. Otherwise, normals look weird.
When you apply the Albedo Map, you will see some hard reflections. It will look normal once you apply the gloss and specular maps.
After adding the gloss and specular maps, the material of the cylinder looks good but still we have to adjust few values and settings for more realistic look.
In the Specular Map, you can find several options like Metalness, Refractive and Dota Specular. The Metalness option is very good for metallic objects. But it’s not always exact accurate. So I personally prefer traditional specular map.
Make sure you have checked in sRGB Color Space option, otherwise you will get incorrect result of specular map.
This is the closer shot of the output. For better result and aesthetics, you can adjust the background light and image.
For the backdrop I choose ambient sky, so the lighting position and direction will be visible on the background plate. This gives a nice effect of depth.
Look at the following image. The background is just a color with ambient effect of lighting. You can rotate the sky by just pressing Shift-right mouse button.
To adjust the materials, go to the right side of material options and select Gloss. You can see the difference by adjusting the gloss values. The roughness defines the glossiness of the surface. So, if you decrease the value of roughness, you will find the object looks more matted and rough.
Horizon smoothing is a nice option for the adjustment of gloss rim in the corners of your object.
There is an additional option of secondary reflection. Sometimes you need some more reflection on a particular area, like a glossy/reflective layer on the surface. You can adjust the values of secondary gloss and intensity.
The first image is without secondary reflection. The second image is with the default values and the third image is after secondary gloss and intensity adjustment. See the differences.
Once you have adjusted the materials and surface behavior, you can try your object with different sky lights presets. For example, I chose the castle sunset sky so the result comes with a bit different mood of lighting and colors.
Here I choose the museum sky. Check out the direction and point of the light.
Now adjust the resolution and quality. Go to Render > Viewport > Resolution > 2:1 Double and turn on Local Reflections, Ambient Occlusion and High-Res Shadows.
If you want to add ambient occlusion, then adjust the Occlusion Strength and Occlusion Size according to your object.
To render the final beauty shot, go to Capture > Settings. It opens the Capture Settings window. Here you can set the resolution of the image, adjust the sampling for the better quality and choose the desired file format. If you want the rendered image with an alpha channel for the transparent background, just turn on Transparency.
If you want to take a screenshot, go to Capture > Image or alternatively you can press F11 key on the keyboard. It will not only take a screenshot but also add it in the output folder. You can see the saved screenshots by going to Capture > Show Output Folders.
I have rendered a few shots with different skies. You can see the difference in every rendered frame.
I hope you must have enjoyed the tutorial. If you want to take an ultra realistic rendered shot of your 3d object in a realtime environment, Marmoset Toolbag could be a great asset for you. Marmoset Toolbag is a must have software in the game design industry and you must give it a try.